Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen and I are big fans of entertaining adventure and Superhero movies such as the new Spiderman movie, The Avengers, Thor and Captain America - all good, clean movies with lots of emphasis on virtues and some really good laughs here and there. However, after separately viewing Batman: Dark Knight in 2008 we concurred the movie was too disturbing and much more than harmless entertainment.
Not everyone in our families and even on our staff agreed, yet our conviction, based on many years’ developed evil-sensing radar, could not be shaken. This stuff was somehow dangerous.
I have seen previews and reviews about the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, the one shown Thursday night in a Colorado theatre when a Joker imitator burst in and killed and maimed as many patrons as he could.
Whatever I recently saw or read about this new movie gave me the shivers, remembering my reactions to the depravities of the last one. There is no way I would allow myself to be exposed to such disturbing material again. For what benefit?
Any yet, millions do. I suspect many, especially the timid, emotionally vulnerable or disturbed, are left with years of conscious or unconscious negative affects from such a very intense, technically over-the-top modern movie experience.
The people who take young children to such dark movies are in my opinion devoid of all common sense.
Even when going to what is considered a good PG movie nowadays, viewers of all ages are often exposed to very inappropriate, disturbing, vile scenes from one movie after another during the previews.
We greatly underestimate the power of those visuals to leave long term negative effects after a few seconds or minutes of being exposed to them. Pornography, for example, has been proven to often leave near life-long memory implants on one’s subconsciousness after only a few moments exposure. One movie reviewer called Batman the Dark Knight “torture porn, a different kind of real porn. So, it is often a good idea to avoid being assaulted by the previews by arriving later.
I am not suggesting that the original Batman movie caused the massacre in Aurora. However, given how he did his deed, it definitely had an impact on the mind of the already disturbed young man, possibly pushing him over an edge that he might otherwise not gone over, or at least to the extent that he did.
See today’s Flashback to John-Henry Westen’s 2008 review of Batman: The Dark Knight. It seems to have uncannily predicted what happened last night in Aurora, Colorado.